The Apple Watch, see our full review, is arguably the best smartwatch available today. With today's announcement from Strava it now gets even better for millions of athletes.
A couple of years ago, Apple provided support for 3rd party developers to access the GPS radio so one could use one of these apps and capture the data to be used with that service. While this was helpful, it also meant you couldn't use the very capable Apple Workout app with all of the native integration.
With today's announcement, you can now complete your exercise program with Workout on your Apple Watch and then have every activity synced automatically to the Strava service. One may ask why this matters and the answer is that Strava provides a social network for athletes with a powerful web experience that lets you develop reports, track trends, give kudos to other athletes, compete on Strava Segments and in challenges, and more.
Workouts provides an excellent user interface on the Apple Watch and iPhone, but it is limited to those devices and also requires that you share and compete with other Apple Watch and iPhone owners. Strava integration opens up the world to athletes and it may be time for me to get another Apple Watch.
Some key stats from Strava include:
- 20 activities uploaded every second, 19 million every week
- More than 300 compatible mobile phones and GPS devices
- More than 3 billion activity uploads
- 1,100+ professional athletes are on Strava
- More than 50 million Strava athletes upload activities from 195 countries
- 4.9 billion kudos given between athletes last year
In the past, Strava athletes either had to use the paid, third-party app Healthfit to cross-post workouts between Strava and the Apple Workouts app or use the Strava app on the Apple Watch to log their workout. The Strava app is still available and works well for many people, but many others have had trouble with consistent syncing, lost workouts, and more. Trusting Apple's native Workout app to capture the data, but still be able to sync to Strava is the best solution for Apple Watch wearing athletes.